Area 3: Campbell River
It's back to the island! Elder Johnson and I got the call at 10:25 pm Monday night which informed me that I was being shipped to Campbell River, a small city of around 30,000 people. I was going to be placed with Elder Brisco who started his mission in Campbell River and has been there all 6 months of his mission so far. I wasn't expecting to be placed back on the island, but it's a darn cool thing that I did! The next day was filled with a lot of visits to members. I must say that leaving Clearbrook was a little harder then I expected. I could sense that the move would likely happen, but it was difficult saying goodbye to everyone.
The next morning we drove to the Tswassen ferry terminal in which began a long long journey. The drive to the terminal took at least an hour and the ferry ride took another couple which was followed by another 2 and a half hour drive up from Nanaimo to Campbell River with Elder Brisco. It was indeed a weird feeling passing through my old area 6 months from the time I left it.
What is there to report on the state of the teaching pool? Well, fortunately Elder Brisco and his previous companion, Elder Gawrys had been teaching and preparing a young woman named Linda for baptism on March 7th. She's 18 and her parents are from Vietnam. She was introduced to the church by her school friend, Victoria who's a member. She's been going to church and meeting with missionaries for a while now and she's loving it! She's been taught everything and we've been reviewing a few things with her but she is truly well prepared. It would take a serious trial for her to be unable to make the date.
There's been a few other people that have been going in and out of our teaching pool. Saturday we found a young Native man named Eugene and he set a time to meet with us later the same night. When we went back he ended up babysitting a bunch of his younger cousins so we could only talk for a few minutes. We invited him to church but he didn't show up.
Campbell River is indeed a beautiful place. It sits right along the eastern shore of Vancouver Island. You can see the mountains of the mainland across the ocean. The city is known as "Salmon Capital of the World" meaning there's a whole lot of fishers there. The weather has been very good for this time of year. There's also a couple of Islands just off the coast of the city, Quadra and Cortes. The only way you can get over to them is by crossing by ferry. Most people in town have come across the missionaries quite often and acknowledge what we do. A lot of them recognize Elder Brisco since he's been here so long. They generally seem to be very friendly and easy to get into long conversations with.
As for my new companion? He's from St. Louis, Missouri and has a very optimistic outlook on the work. He's always cheerful and loves everyone yet he is mature beyond his days as a missionary. So far its been a great companionship. Believe it or not, Campbell River has a ward in town! it's a small one, about 40-45 members show up on average. They travel from place to place a lot so it's hard to have everyone in the building at once. They seem fairly mission minded.
Our apartment is an upstairs attic suite in our Bishop's house. The house itself is in an isolated portion of a street on the south side of town surrounded by large trees giving it the appearance of an acreage. The best way I can describe the appearance of inside of our suite is the upper portion of a barn. It gets really cold in the mornings so we always have to bundle up well before going to bed.
We've been living off of not much except perogies, eggs, and cereal. There's also pretty much no kilometers left on our car which means we've had to walk EVERYWHERE. This past Sunday after church we walked from our place for a long time. We came across a man from another faith who we walked and talked to for a good while. He invited into his home. Even though our conversation ended up not turning out productive, it was sure nice to sit down for an hour. Later that night when it started to get cold, we walked to a members house for dinner. My body ended up breaking out in chills and muscle aches. It felt like I was getting a fever. I woke up the next morning feeling a lot better. I figure that perhaps my body had been a bit shocked from being out in the damp cold for so long. It seems far damper here then in Abbotsford.
So far it's been a decent transfer. There's been a lot to be excited about particularly Linda's baptism. We're the only set of missionaries for miles so that should make things pretty interesting. From the sounds of things, we will very seldom be going on exchanges. Well in the shortest possible way, that's how I can summarize the week. Enjoy the last week of February!
Elder Maclean Samis
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